Social Studies

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Scottsboro Boys Stamp | History Detectives

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THE DETECTIVE: Gwen Wright.

THE PLACE: Scottsboro, Alabama.

THE CASE: What is the connection between an inconspicuous black and white stamp purchased at an outdoor market and a landmark civil rights case? “Save the Scottsboro Boys” is printed on the stamp, above nine black faces behind prison bars and two arms prying the bars apart. One arm bears the tattoo “ILD.” On the bottom of the stamp is printed “one cent.” The Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused and convicted of raping two white girls in 1931 on a train near Scottsboro, Alabama. It took several appeals, two cases before the United States Supreme Court, and nearly two decades before all nine finally walked free. History Detectives delves into civil rights history and consults with a stamp expert to discover how a tiny penny stamp could make a difference in the young men’s courageous defense effort.

Is Over The Garden Wall About Having Faith? | PBS Idea Channel

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Our viewers really enjoy the Over the Garden Wall series on Cartoon Network, as indicated by all the comments and tweets. We do too! Wirt and Greg's journey to find their way home through The Unknown makes for not just a great show, but a great exploration into the idea of faith in the face of fear. The show and its two central characters seem to perfectly illustrate cynicism and optimism. So what can we learn from the brothers, as well as Beatrice and their frog, about faith and facing the impossible?

The Uncertain Connection Between North Korea and Hackers | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent release of The Interview could have been a movie unto itself, involving hackers, a secretive foreign nation, an inept corporation and the United States government. After the Sony leaks, the FBI said North Korean hackers were to blame, and Obama put sanctions into place in response. Foreign policy was affected by this cyberattack! But, was North Korea really the one responsible? And if it wasn't behind the leak, and we can't identify our attackers, what does that mean for the 21st century? Watch the episode to find out more, and tell us what you think!

Could Sports Ever Replace War? | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent excitement over the World Cup made us think: could a competitive sporting event ever replace war? It's easy to see the similarity between games and warfare: both often involve strategy, cunning, and even (sometimes especially) national pride. Plus, sports are not completely without value in terms of international relations. History has shown that politically charged soccer games and "ping-pong policy" can impact diplomacy. But, could a match substitute true combat, and the results honored as definitive during global discord? Watch the episode to find out, and tell us what you think!

Transfusion | Knocking Film Module

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This clip follows the Thomas family as they struggle to obtain a bloodless liver transplant for their son Seth. It examines the complexities of medical decision-making as family and physicians try to follow religious beliefs and save a young man’s life. Medical ethicists reflect on the Witness’s role in obtaining advancements in treatment that may benefit many people.

Finding Your Roots | Founding Mothers

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In this video segment from the PBS series Finding Your Roots, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces Maggie Gyllenhaal's Jewish ancestors back thousands of years to the four "founding mothers" in Jewish history. The segment explains why DNA allows Professor Gates to trace Gyllenhaal's family back so far.

Welcome (中国欢迎您) from the First Lady

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Join First Lady Michelle Obama as she discusses her upcoming trip to China and invites students to follow her journey.

Debating Slavery

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This video segment adapted from Africans in America explores the division among the state delegates to the Constitutional Convention about the issue of slavery. Although some states had already begun to abolish slavery, other states held that the right to own slaves should remain protected by the federal government. What resulted was a debate about the right to personal liberty and the right to own property, which for many included slaves.

Somali Muslims in Maine | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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In recent years, more than 1,000 Somalis have moved to Lewiston, Maine. At first, Lewiston's mainly white, working class residents were accepting of their new neighbors, but as more and more Somalis streamed into the former mill town, tensions began to flare between longtime residents and the new immigrants. This video from  Religion & Ethics Newsweekly looks at this controversial migration and its impact on the community.

Ramadan Observance | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Afeefa Syeed, the mother of three boys in Sterling, Virginia, states, “Ramadan is considered a visitor that comes once a year, so you open your doors and you let the visitor come in and basically take over your life.” This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows Syeed and her family as they observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan Moon | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam, a time of prayer and daily fasting, as well as celebration. The start of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the crescent moon (hilal). This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows the process of sighting the new moon for Muslims in America.

Muslims in America | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Since September 11th, Muslims across the nation have faced numerous new challenges and opportunities as they continue to define their community in America. One of the key challenges has been differentiating themselves from terrorists in the eyes of the government and the public. This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly examines both the internal and external challenges facing American Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

West Virginia | Road to Statehood

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Explore the events leading to statehood for West Virginia. The five lesson plans provide a guided viewing graphic organizer, primary source documents, maps, and activities to engage students in the study of the presidential election of 1860, the issues of the time, and individuals who played a role in the movment.

Eid al-Fitr

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Eid al-Fitr is the Islamic celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, spiritual renewal and reflection. This video segment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly looks at Ramadan and how American Muslims observe it in a non-Muslim culture.

Islamic Celebrations | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Muslims around the world end their month long observance of Ramadan with a celebration known as Eid Al-Fitr, the "Feast of Breaking the Fast." In this video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, members of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC discuss the religious and spiritual significance of these annual religious events.

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